Title: Fix Me Now
Author: Lint
Email: CrashDarby@aol.com
Part: 1/1
Pairing: D/X
Disclaimer: All Buffy folk belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy, and The WB.
Rating: R
Summary: A need for a different life.

***

I remember feeling so lost.

The night air was chilly as I walked along the embarcadero and I had to turn my collar up to ward the chill away. Psychically I knew where I was more than mentally. Life wasn't anywhere near what I expected it to be. Having a shitty childhood tends to make your outlook on life bleak in most cases. But when the simple experience of living goes out of its way to prove it to you. Let's just say it doesn't help anything.

I stopped to sit on one of the concrete blocks that run for miles along the waterside. Staring out at Treasure Island and the lighted Bay Bridge connected to it I thought of home. I'm from southern California, so staring at the bay made the thought of home feel a little strange to me. San Francisco was a nice enough place to crash for awhile. Good weather, decent people, excellent seafood. I liked it here. Rent was a hassle though. With how much I paid to for a pretty dingy studio apartment you'd think the streets were paved with gold. I didn't complain too much about it. Anywhere was better than home.

My parents were drunks. And not the happy go lucky Dudley Moore in "Arthur" drunks. They were the Jack Daniels straight from the bottle, let's destroy the furniture and wail on our kids' type of drunks. It's something you can get used too. In fact I was pretty good at ignoring whatever they did. That is to say when I was home to actually have to ignore it. I spent many a night sleeping on friend's floors and couches. The park would do just as well when I couldn't say at anyone's house. Anything was better than home. I was sixteen when I thought life couldn't get any worse. And of course life went out on a limb to prove me wrong. It was that year I found out that on top of humans being evil disgusting creatures, I had to worry about nine gates of hell type evil creatures. Vampires, demons, werewolves, zombies, ghouls. You name it; I've seen and dealt with it.

At first I didn't really mind knowing that everything that went bump in the night actually existed. It gave me more excuses to stay away from my house. This girl I met, Buffy, was a Slayer. Single girl in all the world chosen to fight the forces of darkness. I know it sounds corny. Something out of a comic book. It was real though, and I dealt with it everyday of my life from then on. It felt really good to be fighting for something worthy. I think I needed it more than I ever realized back then. I was fighting the good fight. I was a key player. I screwed up from time to time, but who doesn't?

The minute I began to hate everything that life had to offer me was when everyone starting dying. Jesse, my best bud since fifth grade, turned into a vamp to lure us into a trap. I staked him with my bare hands. I still can't get the image of those burning yellow eyes glaring at me in shock when the point went in out of my mind. It hurt far more than I ever let on. Willow, my best friend since I learned to speak, killed by demons and left as a memento for us on Buffy's front lawn. For months I couldn't sleep because everytime I closed my eyes, the image of her battered, broken body draped out like some puppet with it's strings cut haunted me. Oz, a guy I'd gotten to know fairly well after Willow was killed, was bitten by his little cousin and turned into a werewolf. Neither Buffy, Giles, or myself were bothered by it. He was a good sport about it and locked him self up for all three days of the full moon cycle. One night he got out of his cage, slashed Buffy up pretty good, and gashed my leg to hell. He ran amuck through town, killing three people and maiming five others. When the morning came and he'd seen everything he'd done, he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. A silver bullet to the brain. Sort of a stylish way to go I guess.

Giles was killed by some powerful vampire named Angelus. He and his girlfriend Jenny Calendar were on a date somewhere down the coast and ran into him. He ripped their throats out. Buffy and I found out about it on the news. A new Watcher was sent, but it never was the same. She and I had grown pretty close in all of the tragedy that surrounded us. One day she even told me she loved me. As luck would have it, it was the day she died.

I found her in the cemetery, lying next to a grave cradling her stomach. The demon that had done it to her lied dead beside her. No way was it going to live after cutting into her like that. She looked up at me with sad eyes and it killed me to keep returning her gaze. She knew she was going to die. She told me she was so sorry. Sorry that it was all ending like this. Sorry I was going to be alone from then on. Sorry that she hadn't told me...that she loved me. I remember telling her that it was all right. That I'd be okay. She taught me how to be a fighter, and for her that's exactly what I'd continue to be. She smiled at me and ran her blood-smeared hand along my cheek; told me I should always be this brave. I kissed her. Then she was gone.

That's life for you right there. It'll give you something as beautiful as love and take it all away in the very same instant. I didn't show anything to outside world after that. I've been that way ever since. A sort of manifested ghost drifting in and out of time and space. I got the hell out of that town as soon as I could. I've been wandering aimlessly ever since, wondering why I didn't just kill myself.

I was so lost in my memories that I hadn't felt the gun being jammed into my back. A gruff voice growled into my ear, demanding my wallet. I shook my head in disbelief and laughed. I was sitting there thinking how I didn't want to live much longer and I get mugged. How typical. He jammed the gun harder and wanted to know what was so damn funny.

"Go ahead," I told him. "Shoot me. What do I care? I've only got five bucks. If you think that's enough to kill me for pull the trigger."

He balked after I said that. I spun and knocked the gun from his hand, simultaneously punching him in the gut and tripping him to the ground. After you've fought things with the strength of ten men and walked away. One person was like swatting a fly. He moaned at my feet and I tossed the gun into the bay.

I was surprised to hear clapping from behind me. I turned to look but only saw the outline of someone standing off in the shadows.

"Nice moves," a feminine voice said.

I didn't say anything in return and squinted to try to make her out in the darkness. The mugger tried to get up and I kicked him in the ribs.

"This city's full of them," shadow girl said. "I have to admit it's rare to actually see someone stand up to one of them. My curiosity is piqued."

"So's mine," I replied. "Why don't you show yourself?"

"Where's the fun in that?" She cooed.

"Fun isn't something I don't think I fully understand," I said. "But do what you want."

She stepped forward then, and my heart did something it hadn't done in so long. It felt warm. The girl now showing herself before was beautiful. That glamorous Hollywood premiere type of beautiful. Blonde hair drooped just past her shoulders, pale skin looking so flawless in the yellow glare of the streetlights, blue-green eyes shining at me. I actually felt my breathe catch in my throat. I smiled stupidly at her.

Then instinct kicked in and I realized she was a vampire.

Wonderful.

We stood like that for a few moments, staring at each other. I cleared my throat and she looked at me expectantly. She giggled softly when I didn't say anything.

"Not a big talker are you?" She said.

"I never know what to say to vampires," I replied.

She flinched as if I'd struck her.

"That obvious is it?"

"Not to the untrained eye," I said. "But I can tell."

She moved closer to me and I balled my fists waiting for her attack. She grinned at me. A sly, cocky grin that told me she knew exactly what she was doing. I silently cursed myself for wanting her to move closer to me, to touch me with that smooth skin, to kiss me with those soft looking lips.

"I'm not going to hurt you," she said softly.

It was my turn to flinch. It's not everyday you hear that from something that stays up all night drinking people's blood. The closer she got the fast my heart beat. I couldn't keep myself from moving closer to her. I was enchanted.

Our lips met quickly, I nearly stumbled into it but caught my footing just in time. She tasted so sweet and felt so cold in my arms. It was in that moment more than ever that I wanted to die. The mugger had taken advantage of our distraction and took off running. Her hands wrapped around my neck as she squeezed my closer, her tongue invaded my mouth. It was cold, she was cold. I never wanted anything more. We broke apart as I gasped for breathe.

"Your name," I asked. "What's your name?"

She smiled slowly, the turn of her lips sending another shiver through me.

"Tell me."

"Darla," she replied.

"Xander," I said. "My name I mean."

She nodded, before taking my hand and pulling me along. My mind told me to stake her. My feet kept following. We walked for hours. Down the piers, up to the Wharf, and all the way to Aquatic Park. We stopped at a bench and sat. Midnight twinkled across the Golden Gate Bridge and she laid her head on my shoulder. I started to think that it was happening too quickly. I had met this gal an hour ago and already we seemed like a happy go lucky couple. It made no sense. For all intents and purposes I should hate this woman for what she was.

Evil.

Evil that had killed my friends. Evil that I wanted to kill me.

"Make me like you," I whispered, my voiced sounding pained even to me. "Make me like you and it will all go away."

"You don't want that," she said.

"I do."

"No," she replied lifting her head from my shoulder and sitting up. "You don't want this life Xander."

"Darla..."

"I won't," she said rising from the bench. "Good-bye Xander."

She took off running. I had no chance at catching her, vampires were always to damn fast to play tag with. I sat on the bench staring at the bridge, wanting release more than ever.

It was almost a week before I saw her again. Every night I wandered around looking for her. Hoping to run into her somewhere we had walked before. My luck is no luck, so everytime I came up with nothing I'd go home dejected and bury myself in self-pity. Rational parts of me wanted to tear my damn head for thinking this way about a vampire. Vampire's don't have souls. Vampires kill people. Vampires killed half of your friends and many other people you knew.

She was different.

I could feel it.

I didn't care what that made me.

I didn't care about anything anymore.

When I did run into her again it was purely by chance. I was walking through some alley I thought was a shortcut and suddenly she was there, standing on top of a dumpster and smiling down at me. I stopped in front of her and gazed up into those eyes I thought could swallow me whole. I ran a finger up and down her leg and she giggled. I knew then that she was mine.

We went back to my place and made fierce passionate love on my living room floor. She didn't like beds. I didn't either. I felt her fangs pierce my neck as she came and I followed soon after when I felt my blood warm her cold body. When we were done, we lied side to side facing each other, hands slowly running up and down the scars we'd given each other. She scratched my back to shit and she had my teeth marks everywhere. Under her breasts, around her naval, all along her shoulders. She liked pain. Shockingly enough, so did I.

We went on for months like that. Each time I would beg her to make me like her. I couldn't stand being human anymore. I don't think I ever could. She refused everytime. She told me I was too good to me like her. She didn't want to see me become what she was.

I persisted.

She denied me.

One night while fucking against the wall in an alley I begged her again to change me. I ran my tongue up and down her neck, I nipped and pleaded and pumped into her. She stormed out of the alley when we were done. I gave her a minute before I chased after. I caught up a few blocks down. She wouldn't look at me.

"What?" I nearly shouted. "What is it? What makes it so damn bad to be what you are? What do you care? You don't have a soul! Why won't you do this?"

She stopped dead at the comment about the soul. She growled at me and shifted into the feral state of her true face. It was the first time I'd ever seen her like that. Even then... I thought she was beautiful.

"You're right," she seethed. "I don't have a soul. This is all just a big fun game I'm playing with you. You are nothing to me Xander. So fuck you if you want to be like this."

She gestured at her rigid forehead and fangs.

"I may not have a soul Xander," she said. "But I have something. Something that keeps me from killing you. Something that doesn't want to hurt you. Something...that knows to keep you away from all of this."

"What is it then?"

She took my hand in hers and brought it up to her chest right where her heart was. There was no pulse. I knew there wouldn't be but still it surprised me.

"I don't feel anything," I said.

"Funny," she replied. "I do."

I stared at her not knowing what to say. Minutes passed.

"Why do you want this so badly?" She asked.

"Because I can't live this life anymore," I said. "Each day is a black mark on my soul, another waste of time and space. If I hadn't met you I would have killed myself long ago. It won't go away Darla. So please...fix me. Make it all go away."

"Is that your only reason?"

"No, I want to be with you. Forever."

A woman passed by and Darla snapped her arm out to grab her by the shoulder. She growled and sunk her teeth into the woman's neck, sucking and slurping loudly. She let the woman drop lifeless and glared at me, those blazing yellow eyes tearing into my soul. Blood was smeared all over her mouth and dripped from her chin.

"Still want me?" She said.

I didn't feel repulsed. I didn't feel disgusted. My stomach wasn't churning at the horrific display. I grabbed her by the arms and crushed my lips to hers, the blood with its coppery taste and warm sticky texture igniting a fire within me. I snaked my tongue out of my mouth, lapping it across her lips it wet sloppy kisses. I tasted the blood, I tasted her tongue, and I tasted the life I so dearly wished to end.

Her mouth drifted toward my neck, her fangs running lightly over my vein. My hands squeezed her arms tighter when I felt them pierce the skin.

"Yesss..." I whispered hoarsely.

I felt the blood drain from me, her lips suckling gently against my neck, her hands cradling me as I sank toward the ground. My eyelids drooped with each second that passed, my body becoming heavier and lifeless. Her mouth moved from my neck and I felt her push her wrist to my lips.

"Drink," she told me.

My eyes opened as her blood spilled into my mouth. I looked up to her. Our gazes matched.

I remember not feeling so lost anymore.